Winter is truly here!!! We made something to warm you up – a delicious pie filled with melting tender beef, mushrooms, baby onions and a rich gravy.
You can use any mushrooms in this dish, but we love using darker varieties like portobello mushrooms – they give the gravy a really rich, dark colour.
What you’ll love: The pie is suitable for freezing so you can make a big batch and freeze it.
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Heat 15 ml oil and 20g butter in a deep cast iron pot or oven-proof saucepan. Season the meat with salt and black pepper. Brown the meat in batches on both sides and then set aside in a bowl.
Add some more oil to the pot and sauté the onions until soft. Combine with the beef. Turn up the heat and add mushrooms. Fry until nicely coloured. Stir in the bacon and garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer to bowl.
Melt the remaining butter in a pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base, for 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Return beef, onions, mushrooms and bacon to pot. Add wine, stock and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until combined. Bring to boil.
Remove from heat. Stir in the rosemary, thyme and bouquet garni. Bake in the oven, covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce thickens slightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Remove bouquet garni and any sticks of the herbs.
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Transfer the Beef filling to a 2 litre capacity oven-proof dish. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to about 3-4mm thickness. Lift carefully and lay over the beef filling. Trim the edges and brush with egg wash. Use the pastry scraps to decorate the top of the pie.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
To serve: When the weather cools, pies prefer roasted root vegetables.
Tips to make crisp and golden pies every time:
Don’t allow bought frozen pastry to thaw completely – when it’s just thawed, work quickly or you may stretch the pastry. Cool the pie filling before placing it in a pastry case or pie dish before baking. If the filling is warm or hot, it will begin to heat the pastry, making it soggy and greasy. Preheat the oven to the right temperature before you begin baking. To rise properly without going soggy, the pastry needs instant heat. Cut a cross in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape. If you don’t, the steam will become trapped and make the filling too moist, which prevents the pastry from becoming crisp. For larger pies use a pie funnel to help the steam escape easily. If you don’t have one, cut a larger cross (about 4cm wide).
*A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs that is added to casseroles, stocks, sauces and soups. It traditionally comprises parsley (or parsley stalks, a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. These herbs may be bundled into a strip of leek or a piece of celery stalk, or tied in a muslin bag or with string, to keep them together during cooking and allow easy removal before serving.